The bottom line:
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is a clear-cut investment platform that is great for beginners looking to learn how to buy and sell investments. More advanced investors, however, may find it lacking in terms of available assets and tools.
Pros & Cons
- Easy-to-use platform.
- $0 commissions.
- App connects all Chase accounts.
- No account minimum.
- Limited tools and research.
- Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance.
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Up to $600
when you invest in a new Merrill Edge® Self-Directed account.
$5 to $1,000
in free stock for users who sign up via mobile app
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Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed shines
Easy-to-use platform: With a single web trading platform, this is a straightforward way to get started investing in stocks and managing your portfolio.
App connects all Chase accounts: If you’re already a Chase customer, the ability to view all of your Chase accounts, from checking to investments, in one location may be very appealing to you.
No account minimum: With no account minimum, you can start saving and investing with whatever amount works for you.
Where J.P. Morgan Self-Directed falls short
Limited number of tools and research: While the research and data is from high-quality sources like Morningstar, J.P. Morgan and global investment research firm CFRA, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing doesn’t offer as wide of a selection of third-party research providers as other brokers.
Portfolio Builder tool requires $2,500 balance: The Portfolio Builder tool is extremely helpful, but the $2,500 requirement may keep it out of reach for some just starting out investing.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed is best for:
Existing Chase customers.
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed at a glance
Stock trading costs
$0 per trade + $0.65 per-contract fee.
Account fees (annual, transfer, closing, inactivity)
No annual or inactivity fees; $75 account transfer fee (partial or full).
Offers access to crypto-related products, but not cryptocurrencies themselves.
Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds
Web trading platform meets basic investor needs.
Mobile app seamlessly integrates platform with all Chase products (including credit cards and bank accounts).
Research and data
Clients have free access to proprietary J.P.Morgan research, Morningstar analyst ratings, and CFRA reports.
Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)
Phone, email, in-person, social media M-F, 8am to 9pm EST and Sat. 9am-5pm Est. In-person meetings at branches.
More details about J.P. Morgan Self-Directed's ratings
Account minimum: 5 out of 5 stars
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing has a $0 account minimum, making any amount of money you’ve saved enough to start investing. According to J.P. Morgan, you can invest as little as $1 in no-load mutual funds with no transaction fees.
However, the Portfolio Builder tool is one of Self-Directed Investing’s bigger selling points, and you will need to have at least $2,500 in your account to use it. (More about this tool below.)
Stock trading costs: 5 out of 5 stars
Like most online brokers today, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing doesn’t charge a commission for buying or selling stocks. Although this is a common practice now, it was only a few years ago that buying stocks meant paying a commission on every trade. The decline of stock commissions likely had a hand in the major increase in retail trading activity that started in 2020 and continues to this day.
Options trades: 4 out of 5 stars
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing’s options pricing is pretty standard; just like with stock trading, you won’t pay a per-trade commission. However, you will pay $0.65 per contract. (Options are typically grouped into contracts made up of 100 shares of the underlying stock.)
Account fees: 3 out of 5 stars
Regardless of whether you're performing a full account closure or just transferring a portion of the securities out of your account, you’ll pay a $75 account transfer fee. Some brokers, like Fidelity and Vanguard, don't charge this fee, but among those that do, $50 to $75 is fairly standard.
Number of no-transaction-fee mutual funds: 4 out of 5 stars
With more than 3,000 no-transaction-fee mutual funds available from J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a mutual fund that fits your investing goals while still avoiding paying a transaction fee for it.
Tradable securities: 3 out of 5 stars
While Self-Directed Investing may be an excellent choice for the beginner investor, more advanced investors may find its offerings limited. Self-Directed Investing doesn’t support investing in futures or forex, nor does it offer fractional shares, a growing option among brokers that allows investors to purchase a part of a stock rather than a full share.
Crypto offering: 2 out of 5 stars
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing does not offer direct access to cryptocurrencies, but investors can buy products that track the price of some of the largest cryptocurrencies, such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC).
Trading platform: 4 out of 5 stars
Existing Chase customers will be happy to know that they don’t need to download another app to access Self-Directed Investing accounts. All of Self-Directed Investing’s offerings are available on the Chase mobile app, where users can research, trade and manage investments in addition to accessing any other Chase accounts, such as credit cards or bank accounts.
If you’re not an existing Chase bank customer, you can still open a Self-Directed Investing account.
For some new investors, the prospect of building an entire portfolio from scratch may be overwhelming enough to turn them off from investing altogether. The Self-Directed Investing Portfolio Builder tool makes the process less intimidating and easy to do.
To use the Portfolio Builder tool, you take a quiz that determines how your assets should be allocated based on your risk tolerance and goals. You can then use that asset allocation as a framework when you search, compare and choose investments. While Self-Directed Investing accounts give investors access to other investment types, including bonds and mutual funds, the Portfolio Builder tool allows you to choose and trade only ETFs and stocks.
Mobile app: 5 out of 5 stars
For Chase users, the mobile app works well to integrate various Chase financial products, like checking and savings accounts, credit cards and investments. Through the app, users can trade stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, as well as access charting tools, screeners, J.P. Morgan research, stock watch lists and more.
Research and data: 3 out of 5 stars
The Portfolio Builder tool is exactly what a beginner investor needs, but those with more experience may miss having access to a thorough suite of robust tools that can assist with investing strategy, analysis and research. Investors do have access to J.P. Morgan equity research, Morningstar analysis and CFRA reports (which are likely sufficient for most Self-Directed Investing users), but the number of third-party research providers isn't as high as similar brokers.
Customer support options: 4 out of 5 stars
J.P. Morgan customer support is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Users can also reach out via Facebook and Twitter Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern, and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’d rather speak to someone in person, J.P. Morgan does have in-office visits during normal branch hours.
Is J.P. Morgan Self-Directed right for you?
If you’re looking for a basic brokerage account that will teach you how to build a portfolio, help you start trading on your own and protect you from speculative or high-risk investments, J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing is an affordable and comprehensive option. You’ll get the assistance and support you need and nothing to clutter your learning experience.
If you want to explore similar options, check out our review of the best brokers for beginners.
How do we review brokers?
NerdWallet’s comprehensive review process evaluates and ranks the largest U.S. brokers by assets under management, along with emerging industry players, using a multifaceted and iterative approach. Our aim is to provide an independent assessment of providers to help arm you with information to make sound, informed judgements on which ones will best meet your needs.
Disclosure: The author held no positions in the aforementioned securities at the original time of publication.
INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS ARE: NOT A DEPOSIT • NOT FDIC INSURED • NO BANK GUARANTEE • MAY LOSE VALUE